Huawei releases statement on MWC2020 cancellation

From GSMA.

Huawei has issued a statement on the cancellation of this year’s Mobile World Congress, hinting at keeping the scheduled press event from the 23rd.

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Following the cancellation of this year’s Mobile World Congress over fears of the coronavirus (COVID-19), both brands that were still intending on attending as well as attendees are confused, unsure on what to do next. Some companies have already issued statements, cancelling their scheduled press events or postponing the launch of various products, while others have yet to say anything.

One of the many companies that had scheduled a press event was Huawei, which had posted an enigmatic picture on their social media accounts, announcing a press conference on the 23rd of this month at 14:00 CET (Central European Time), being one day before the start of the MWC2020. While the company hasn’t explicitly confirmed this conference will still be held, the statement issued following the cancellation of the MWC can be interpreted as a confirmation that nothing changes:

[Shenzhen, China, February 13, 2020] Huawei respects GSMA’s decision to cancel the Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2020. We appreciate all the effort that the organizer and the Spanish government have put into this event.
Huawei has always and will continue to support the development of Mobile World Congress events in Barcelona. We will also continue communicating with our customers and partners through online and regional events to show Huawei’s latest products and solutions.

If we look at the last sentence, this one seems to be confirming the event will go as planned and be livestreamed on the usual platforms, such as Facebook and YouTube. The picture posted raises quite a lot of questions, with some concluding this is the awaited release of Huawei’s next foldable phone, the Huawei Mate Xs. This, sadly, appears to be a rushed conclusion, as it is unclear whether the manufacturer will be launching their new foldable this soon.

The picture also mentions “1+8+N”, with various products, or categories of products, depicted. The “1+8+N” refers to Huawei’s strategy centred around 5G and announced during the MWC in Shanghai last year, 2019, with the “1” referring to smartphones from where users control the whole ecosystem, “8” being the categories of products such as laptops, headsets or tablets, with the recent inclusion of smart TVs, and “N” being different use cases, such as entertainment or smart homes. In this strategy, the main product, the smartphone, integrates seamlessly with other products such as the smart TV, allowing users to switch screen without any difficulties, or connecting to their vehicles directly.

Examples of this recent strategy of building a seamless ecosystem can be found in the manufacturer’s latest products, such as the FreeBuds 3 or the Huawei x Gentle Monster smart glasses that pair automatically and can be controlled through a simple application, Huawei AI Life, which is also used to manage routers, other accessories and dozens of IoT devices such as water boilers, rice cookers, fridges, lights and others. We can also see the integration of the smartphone screen on Huawei’s recent MateBooks via Huawei’s PC Manager, allowing users to have two independent screens and move files from one to the other easily.

The presentation might focus on this subject and go deeper in detail, presenting to the English-speaking community their ecosystem strategy and how it all works together. After all, since Huawei lost the possibility of integrating Google’s Mobile Services in their new devices, the manufacturer has been losing sales and thus market share in the Western world, shifting their strategy from smartphones to accessories to remain relevant.

The company’s schedule for the end of this month is quite packed, with the launch of their official online store in Spain on the 17th, the opening of their brand new Experience Store in Barcelona on the 22nd, as well as a special launch event being held the same day, with the launch of a product aimed at the Spanish market, as well as the possibility of seeing some China-exclusive products launch in Spain. And, as mentioned, on the 23rd, the manufacturer is expected to hold a press conference, although its contents aren’t clear right now.

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